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Nearly 50 years ago a young ornithology instructor named Stephen Kress set out to right an environmental wrong—the near-extinction of Atlantic Puffins from Maine’s off-shore islands—by painstakingly translocating and rearing nearly 1,000 baby puffins. Today Audubon’s Project Puffin (puffinproject.audubon.org) based in Rockland, Maine, has broadened to include other seabirds and countless advocacy and education efforts.
Also, facing extinction on Maine’s islands is the one-room island schoolhouse. Not on Isle au Haut! Nearly 6 miles off Stonington this island’s half dozen K-6 grade students are thriving, and very concerned about the effects of climate change on seabirds, puffins in particular. This fall they raised $600 (!) by making crafts to sell before Christmas, so that they could each “adopt” a puffin and help do their part to support the work of Project Puffin.
At Deer Isle’s annual birding festival, the boat trip to Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge (prime location for nesting pelagics, including puffins) is the most popular event of the weekend. Guided by Bob Duchesne, the 5-hour trip guarantees a good look at lots of puffins and the probability of seeing half a dozen other seabirds that are not typically visible from the mainland. This year, we are inviting these kids to join us! What fun to share in the excitement of birding and learn about these amazing creatures together.
We are looking for donations to help purchase boat tickets for four bright, enthusiastic Isle au Haut students (Grade 3-6), their parents and a teacher. They are thrilled for the chance to take a trip out to the island where “their” puffins may be breeding and nesting. Please adopt a puffin adopter, and foster a new generation of birding conservationists, by making a donation towards their trip to Seal Island! Any amount we raise beyond the funding needed for this event will go towards future educational opportunities for students. Please reach out with any questions!
Any amount helps!